Teh Tarik Travels: Bali

Seeing that this is going to be the first travel post for MoaTTD, please do excuse any useless, uninteresting information that might lead to this blog....

Ushering in 2010, I figured that the best way to cap a really good year was to end it all on another vacation. Although this time I didn't really get to travel with my usual kakis but sometimes, traveling with the family may bring a good breath of fresh air in life. Besides, nothing beats traveling on someone else's expense (ie my parents...)

OF course, the biggest concern to us when we were about to make arrangements for the trip was the price ticket, seeing that we made plans a little late and the date of our travel was nearing the New Years Eve, supposedly the peak time for Bali tourism. Fortunately, MHLow tickets were made available and surprisingly enough, it only cost RM2k plus for the return ticket for myself and three other members of my family. It was a pleasant surprise indeed

While waiting to board our flight, we stopped by the KFC for lunch, just in case food on the plane suck. Fortunate for that decision, I realized that KFC are promoting their new Teh Tarik menu so I was obviously inclined to try it out for the purpose of the website

KFC Teh Tarik!

TRAVEL TIP #1: Don't eat before boarding

Lesson learned from this tip, trust food from Malaysian Airlines especially when going out of KLIA. Apparently the food turned out to be really good and they also included some new stuff in the menu, including BASKIN ROBBINS ICE CREAMS!

Inflight Baskin Robbins

3 1/2 bumpy hours later, we arrived at Denpasar Airport. As my last visit here was nearing 12 years ago, I am absolutely clueless what to expect from the place apart from what I was told from others who have been here recently. The one thing I realized after coming out of the airport is the weather is ridiculously humid, especially compared to the weather in Malaysia. Of course, since that I am always in the comfort of air condition, I made one false move

TRAVEL TIP #2: Wear shorts or other loose clothing when going to a tropical island
There I was, rocking up Asia's most popular beach for its tropic weather and warm sunny beaches and I was still in my thick jeans, shoes and rugby uniform. Needless to say, I was literally boiling from the sweat and heat, literally losing the water weight I carried in my body by the minute.

Our day would continue tomorrow, as we are too tired to do much after that...

Day 2

After arranging and settling down in the room, we were going up for the trip of the day which was activities in the beach. While arranging my gear, I suddenly realized that the best thing coming to Indonesia is the currency. Feels good to go around with a million in your pocket

One meee-lli-un rupiah...

So we headed to Nusadua Beach, which apparently according to the travel guide is one of the more happening activity beach in Bali and he was not kidding. Upon arrival, we were greeted with activities organizers, offering us various activities such as Para sailing, Banana Boat, Kite Boat, Snorkeling and Scuba. Being the adventurous group we were, we've decided to TRY EVERYTHING!

We started out with Para sailing.

TRAVEL TIP #3: When para sailing, don't expect to be treated the same when you are a guy...
 Risking myself from sounding sexist, this is what we all saw when we were there. If you are a guy, you would not even get much apart from the basic treatment from the handlers there. You see, the idea behind para sailing is that before take-off, they would prep you from running so that you had a good start. one of my buddies, a slightly heavier dude did not know this and ended up gliding IN the water before take off, much to our amusement


As you can see from the picture, only one guy came running to catch him landing. I swear I saw 5 guys running to catch the Japanese lady with the two piece bikini when she was landing...

After that, our next activity was Banana Boat. For those who do not know this, its a ride where five people on a rubber dingy that's tugged by a speed boat, designed to make you fall "by request" (quoting the activity guy). Problem is, take 6 dudes on a yellow, long dingy and you get this


And so, as one can see, not really a flattering sight but it turned out to be a great ride. Problem was that they were brought far out to the sea for the dumping and all of them held on for life out of fear. None was thrown, much to the dismay of the activity guy.

Finally came the Scuba. Naturally one would ask, how is it possible for us to do this without taking the PADI license? Same question was asked by me as well and was only given the answer "tak mengapa pak, kami kluar sama org yang sudah biasa scuba"... Very assuring. By the time I went into the boat, my questions were answered...

The usual PADI license would include a 2 week training stint with practical exams for scuba diving. We were given one guy, explaining how to breath with the tank and hand gestures underwater. This was all done within 30 seconds, while on the way to the diving spot.

our crash-course instructor/diving guide/equipment handler giving instructions

"wait... what did he say again?"

So, in between trying to decipher and understand what he was mumbling about on the instructions and making our way past the hundreds of visitors who are also doing the same thing, we still managed to have a good time scuba, without any problems.With that, we deserve a lap of the strut of honor.

Backstreet Boys, eat your hearts out

The entire day took most of my energy out but was still up for another tourist spot visit. We decided to make our way to a place called GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) Cultural Park, where it houses a really large statute of one of their gods. Some interesting sights to see at the park

Statue of Lord Wisnu, one of their gods

Garuda Statue (notice my fail attempt of grabbing the beak...)

 One of the best thing about this place is that the view from the hilltop is amazing. Since that there are not much skyscrapers (almost none) on the island itself, one can see almost the entire view of Bali from the top of the park. I have to admit the hike up is madness but the workout is worth the hike!

Day 3

Seeing that this is our last full day in Bali, we thought of making it a shopping day + sightseeing day as well. Since that I am making a target to visit every Hard Rock Cafe in every country I visit, Bali is no exception. From Kuta town, it took us about half and hour hike to the Hard Rock Cafe/Hotel itself. This may sound nuts but trust me, with the traffic to the beach, it would take you longer on a cab.

I think I've reached the age where comfort will always prevail over style, and I look damn good in a Hawaii shirt...

Situated right in front of Kuta Beach, this is a definite must go for everyone who comes to Bali. Not only would it be fun to visit HRC but Kuta Beach is rumored to be one of the better beach in Bali. However slight warning, it might get packed in the area, even for us that we had to be at the beach at the same time when a company was organizing their team-building event at the beach. We ended up at the beach for some fun, even managed to buy a kite to play on the beach.

TRAVEL TIP #4: Always ask for "harga local" otherwise you are sure to be conned with the prices
We made this mistake though, thinking that every price was the same and lo behold, we found out that the price mark up was almost 3 TIMES the original price they were charging the locals. Same goes with their groceries or any other stuff that you would want to purchase in Bali. I almost bought a packet of large Cheesels, only to realize they were charging 58,000 Rupiah = RM22! Utter madness!

A change of clothes and we continued on with the shopping. What I can gather from Bali is that most of the retail items are no different that the ones in Malaysia. Of course, I would be referring to non-souvenir items. Most retail shops can be found around HRC, Kuta Beach district. A landmark to it would be the McDonalds that is situated in town. I did my own exploring around town and found out that most shops are centralized to town so its kinda easy to find things in Bali.

I swear that I was suppose to take pictures of shops around but my camera went dead, until we stumbled to this condom shop... 

TRAVEL TIP #5: Always ask whether the food is halal, otherwise you would be treated with a plate of hot, steamy "babi guling"
One difference that I can see from my last visit to Bali is the availability of "Halal" shops around town. Back in the days, it used to be really hard to find a halal shop to eat. This is because that, even though Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world, Bali is still very much influenced with Hinduism. So I had to learn this the hard way of asking my tourist guide
Me: "Pak, makan di Bali, apa yang paling sedap dimakan?"
Pak Supir: "Oh, yang paling bagus di Bali babi guling pak. Enak sekali..."
I see...
One other thing that caught my eye with the restaurants here would be the seafood restaurants. Two shops that I would really recommend would definitely be "Bali Seafood" which is a large seafood complex that offers a variety of BBQ seafood at an affordable price. I know that the name of the shop is not exactly the most easiest to find but the landmark of the shop would be a large wooden hall that serves as the main dining area by the roadside. The second place would be this shop called "Ikan Bakar Hidup-Hidup". I'm recommending this place simply for the name and with a catchphrase "kalau tak percaya, try dulu", this place is a must try... I couldn't bring myself to do it but the rest managed to and said that the food there is as well good and affordable.

In short, this would definitely not going to be the last time for me to see Kuta. There are still so much to do and yet, I only had so little time to do so. Perhaps the next trip, I'll do it without my parents and a romantic getaway for two... :)


    eh the part u were choking the bird's neck?
    i tot u purpsely wanna scratch its beak!

  2. The Ikan Bakar Hidup-hidup really cracked me up! LOL! U shoulda taken a picture of that place! LOL!

  3. LOL!
    i love the babi guling part!
    we should so try that next time! XD

  4. u should try "nasi pedas" it's really spicy but taste so good..

  5. May : One mee li un do it nak jg abang hehehe :)

  6. that statue is so huge, it's crazy! Worth seeing though.